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Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones features comic artist Will Simpson

Will Simpson on the Iron Throne

Most devotees of HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones will know that a significant chunk of the drama’s filming and production work is done in Northern Ireland, but one fact that may have passed comic fans by is that the Northern Irish-native comic book artist Will Simpson (2000AD/Hellblazer/Transformers/Vamps/Punisher 2099) is the lead storyboard artist. Things get just a little NSFW below, as you might expect from anything related to Game of Thrones.

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George R.R. Martin would write Doctor Strange (with a catch)

George R.R. Martin, author of the bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire, is a Marvel fan from way back, with a letter in 1964’s Avengers #12 counted among his earliest published writing (he was a New Jersey teen at the time). So it probably should come as little surprise that, in theory at least, he wouldn’t mind taking a crack at writing Doctor Strange, whom he says “was always one of my favorites.”

A comic with “From the Creator of Game of Thrones” slapped across the cover would seem like a license for Marvel to print money. However, before Martin would even consider tackling the Master of the Mystic Arts, he would require an unlikely guarantee from the publisher.

“Before I would ever do that, I would have to have my lawyers to meet with Marvel’s lawyers and work out an absolutely iron-clad contract that would say whatever I did in the story would continue to be canon forever, and would never be retconned, rebooted or reimagined out of the universe when some later writer decided to mess around with it,” Martin tells MTV Geek in an interview recorded at Worldcon. “Because I hate that, I hate — I’ve always hated reboots and retcons and the fact that a writer comes in and undoes what a previous writer did and, y’know, brings dead characters back to life, kills new characters that weren’t intended to die. That’s the one thing I don’t like about comics. That drives me crazy.”

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C2E2 2012 | Saturday Photodiary

Typically, I’ll spend most of Saturday in panels, but the first one I was interested in wasn’t until later in the morning, so I killed time taking in some of the more offbeat exhibitors, like Ben the Bubble Guy, a businessman who hires himself out for birthday parties, corporate events, funerals. Okay, maybe not funerals.

When it was time, I headed up to the fourth floor for the AV Club‘s panel on the Future of Superheroes.

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Previews: What Looks Good for March

The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes and first issues so that we don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “Batwoman is still awesome!” every month. And we’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.

One cool change this month and for the foreseeable future: I’m joined by Graeme McMillan who’ll also be pointing out his favorites.

Finally, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.

Abrams Comicarts

The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist – I admit, I tend to run hot and cold on Clowes’ output, but I’m a sucker for coffee-table career retrospectives, so the idea of taking 224 pages to look back at his career to date (with, of course, the traditional little-seen artwork and commentary) seems like a must-look at the very least. [Graeme]

Abstract Studios

Rachel Rising, Volume 1: The Shadow of Death – Terry Moore’s latest series gets its first collection and I love the premise of a woman’s waking up in a shallow grave with no memory of how she got there and needing to figure out who tried to kill to her. [Michael]

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Game of Thrones’ George R.R. Martin makes his Marvel

George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin

Talk about your harmonic nerd convergences: John Hodgman spoke with George R.R. Martin about Marvel Comics in yesterday’s episode of public radio’s The Sound of Young America. In one corner: George R.R. Martin, author of the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire and its #1 New York Times–bestselling latest installment A Dance with Dragons, executive producer of the HBO television adaptation Game of Thrones, and inspiration for Dynamite Entertainment’s own comics adaptation A Game of Thrones, whose first issue debuts tomorrow. In the other corner: John Hodgman, nerd-friendly writer, comedic cultural commentator for The Daily Show, and “I’m a PC” guy, filling in as the radio program’s guest host. The topic: One of Martin’s first pieces of published writing, a piece of fanmail published in Avengers #12 in 1964 when Martin was 16 years old.

Hodgman used the letter, which entered wide Internet circulation a few weeks back, to kick off the interview. And he was probably kidding around when he asked Martin to explain why his 16-year-old self believed Avengers #9 to be superior to Fantastic Four #32, as his letter had argued. But once Hodgman jogged Martin’s memory by reminding him that Avengers #9 marked the debut of Wonder Man, Martin knew exactly why he liked the issue so much. His explanation to Hodgman is a solid exploration of why the early Marvel superhero comics were so groundbreaking for the genre — and in offering it, Martin seems to come to the realization that that issue had an impact on his own writing that resonates with him to this day. (For readers of the book or viewers of the show, the influence will be obvious.)

Read a transcript of the relevant section below, then listen to the entire interview.

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Food or Comics? | Trondheim, Wonder Woman, Game of Thrones and more

Wonder Woman

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15 this week, I’d continue to support the DC relaunch by picking up Wonder Woman #1, Legion of Super-Heroes #1 and Green Lantern Corps #1 (All DC, $2.99). I’d also grab the first issue of IDW’s new ongoing Star Trek book ($3.99), which adapts episodes of the original TV show into the new movie continuity, because I’m nerdy like that.

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Gallery of Game of Thrones Vol. 2: More fan art from around the web

Winter Is Coming by Bill Mudron

Winter Is Coming by Bill Mudron

Because every fantasy epic needs a sequel, right? Three weeks ago I posted a massive gallery of fan art for A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones, author George R.R. Martin’s addictive revisionist-fantasy series of novels and the HBO television show adapting it respectively. Almost immediately, Robot 6’s commenters started suggesting additions, while the wider ASoIaF/GoT fan community keeps generating kick-ass artistic homages to their favorite characters and scenes faster than Tyrion Lannister would tear through a copy of Chester Brown’s Paying For It. (That is to say, pretty goddamn fast.) As was infamously the case with the series itself, it soon became clear that another volume was necessary. So here you go! Now all that’s left is to wait until the recently released A Dance with Dragons yields a Gregor Clegane-sized amount of fan art of its own…

Many thanks to Jamie S. Rich and the rest of the original gallery’s commenters, Fuck Yeah Game of Thrones Art, Zack Soto’s The Wall Defends Itself, Kris Mukai & Maritsa Patrinos’s Game of Thrones minizine, and Elio & Linda of Westeros.org for helping to scour the Internet’s riverlands for these images.

Please note: If all you’ve seen is the TV show, there are some mild SPOILERS ahead in the form of characters you haven’t met and, in a couple of cases (though nothing major, so don’t panic) events you haven’t seen. Also, some of these images are tastefully NSFW, so be warned.

Check out the whole gallery after the jump — click on any image to go to its original source, or as close to it as I could get. Don’t forget to check out Volume One of the gallery too if you’re looking for more. And again, please, NO SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS, for any book in the series. I will be very strict about this. To quote good old Tyrion Lannister, “Heads, spikes, walls.”

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A Zine of Ice and Fire: Blood Magic pays artistic tribute to Game of Thrones

Have You Seen This Wolf? by Maritsa Patrinos from Blood Magic

Have You Seen This Wolf? by Maritsa Patrinos from Blood Magic

Have you spent the past week plowing through all 959 pages (plus appendices!) of George R.R. Martin’s long-awaited A Dance with Dragons, volume five in epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire? Are you counting the days and following the casting announcements until HBO’s Game of Thrones, the show based on the series, returns next spring? Did you feast on the Gregor Clegane-sized gallery of GoT/ASoIaF fanart Robot 6 put together last week but find yourself hungry for more? Then do yourself a favor and order Blood Magic, the new zine edited by Kris Mukai, Maritsa Patrinos, and Hunter Heckroth. It features Ice and Fire-inspired art from over two dozen illustrators, including Sam Bosma, Kali Ciesemier, L. Nichols, Evan Dahm, Rory Phillips, and Jen Wang. Even George R.R. Martin himself appears to have enjoyed it, so consider it blessed in the sight of gods and men. The zine costs $7 — order it here.

Gallery of Game of Thrones: awesome A Song of Ice and Fire fan art from around the web

The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword by Brad VandenBerg

The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword by Brad VandenBerg

Tomorrow, the Game of Thrones is afoot once more. After six long years of waiting (longer, in the case of some characters), A Dance with Dragons — the fifth volume in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy saga A Song of Ice and Fire, the first volume of which, A Game of Thrones, being the inspiration for the hit HBO series — will finally be released. Personally, I’ll be so cut off from the Internet in order to read the thing that you’ll have to reach me by raven. But until then, let’s celebrate the publication of this long-anticipated hope-it’s-a-masterpiece with a gallery of the best Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire art the Internet has to offer. Please note: If all you’ve seen is the TV show, there are some mild SPOILERS ahead in the form of characters you haven’t met and, in a couple of cases (though nothing major, so don’t panic) events you haven’t seen. Just avoid that map at the bottom and you’re all set.

Many thanks to Zack Soto’s The Wall Defends Itself tumblr, Kris Mukai & Maritsa Patrinos’s Game of Thrones minizine, the #Winterfell deviantART community, and Elio & Linda of Westeros.org for helping me discover many of these treasures.

Check out the whole gallery after the jump — click on any image to go to its original source, or as close to it as I could get! And please, NO SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS, for any book in the series. I will be very strict about this. Longsword-swinging strict.

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Zack Soto plays a Game of Thrones

The Hound by Zack Soto

The Hound by Zack Soto

Full disclosure (not that it’s even necessary if you’ve noticed my posts on this topic for the past few months): I am a giant nerd for George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, and eagerly anticipate Game of Thrones, the new HBO series based on the books. (Go ahead and watch the first 14 minutes of the series premiere at Spinoff. I’ll wait.)

Fortunately I’m in good company: Cartoonist Zack Soto, of The Secret Voice and Studygroup12 fame, is a hardcore ASoIaF fanboy as well. In tribute, he’s launched The Wall Defends Itself, a tumblelog dedicated to the best in Game of Thrones fan and production art. That’s Soto’s rendition of one of the books’ major heavies, Sandor Clegane — aka the Hound — above. Soto says he’ll try to post at least one original piece of ASoIaF art every week — the perfect way to get your fix of intrigue, incest and the occasional undead warrior between episodes of the show!

Celebrate the impending release of A Dance with Dragons with some sweet art

"The North" by Kalie Ciesemier

Nerds worldwide are rejoicing today because after six years and countless delays and false starts, author George R.R. Martin has announced that A Dance with Dragons — the much-anticipated fifth book in his seven-volume epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, making the jump to TV on April 17 in the form of the HBO series adaptation Game of Thrones — is now officially and firmly slated for a Tuesday, July 12, 2011 release. I’ll be spending most of my day gibbering giddily, but if you manage to pull yourself together, do check out a trio of very cool A Song of Ice and Fire illustrations by artist Kali Ciesemier. That’s Jon Snow above; click the links to check out her takes on Sansa Stark and Brienne of Tarth. Winter may be almost over, but Winter Is Coming!

Bantam and Dynamite to adapt George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

Jon Snow sketch, by Tommy Patterson

Bantam Books has acquired the worldwide comic-book rights to George R.R. Martin’s bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire for a monthly series published by Dynamite Entertainment. Collected editions will follow under the Bantam imprint.

The comic, by writer Daniel Abraham (Fevre Dream, The Hard Call) and artist Tommy Patterson (Farscape, Tales from Wonderland), will debut in the late spring, around the time the television adaptation Game of Thrones premieres in April on HBO.

“With so much top rank talent to pick from, it was a tough choice,” Martin writes on his blog, “but Daniel and I and our editors at Bantam and Dynamite were all knocked out by the character sketches and sample pages that Tommy submitted.”

Debuting in 1996, Martin’s planned seven-book saga is set primarily on the mythical medieval continent of Westeros, whose seven kingdoms are torn between a dynastic civil war, a threat of invasion from the North and the impending return of the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.

Read the official press release, and see another character sketch, after the break.

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Drawing a Game of Thrones

Jon Snow and Ghost by Gianluca Maconi

Jon Snow and Ghost by Gianluca Maconi

As reported in What Are You Reading?, I am a huge, huge, huge fan of writer George R.R. Martin’s bold, bloody, brilliant epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. And I pretty much can’t wait for HBO’s adaptation of the series, Game of Thrones, which stars Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Mark Addy, and Lena Headey and hits televisions on April 17. Finally, of course, I like comics and cartooning. So here’s a two-great-tastes-that-taste-great-together situation if ever there was one: deviantARTist Gianluca Maconi’s A Song of Ice and Fire gallery, featuring drawings of many of the major characters. That’s the black-clad bastard son Jon Snow and his direwolf Ghost above; click the link for Maconi’s vivaciously drawn takes on the rest of the Stark family, the Lannister siblings, King Robert Baratheon, Danaerys Targaryen and more. (And if you’re curious about the books but aren’t convinced they’re worth your while, allow me to make the case.) Winter can’t come soon enough.

(via Westeros)

What Are You Reading?

The Sixth Gun

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today’s special guest is Jim Zubkavich, writer of the Image Comics series Skullkickers and a project manager at UDON Entertainment.

To see what Jim and the Robot 6 crew are reading, click the link below.

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Off-topic: HBO greenlights Game of Thrones series

First production photo from HBO's "Game of Thrones"

First production photo from HBO's "Game of Thrones"

HBO has ordered the pilot plus nine episodes of Game of Thrones, the highly anticipated television series based on George R.R. Martin’s bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels.

Production begins in June in Belfast, with the series set to debut on the cable network in spring 2011.

From the moment the rights to the novels were sold to HBO in January 2007, many doubted whether a sprawling fantasy could ever make it to television. As recently as Monday, Martin himself expressed doubts as to whether the network would greenlight the show.

“From the start of this, I’ve told myself, ‘Don’t get too emotionally invested in this, or you will be devastated if it doesn’t go’,” Martin wrote on his blog. “Wise words, those. I’m a smart guy. But easier said than done. I’ve failed. I am totally emotionally invested, and if HBO does indeed decide to pass, for whatever reason, I will be gutted.”

Debuting in 1996, A Song of Ice and Fire is set in mythical, medieval Westeros, a continent torn between a dynastic civil war, a threat of invasion from the north and the impending return of the rightful heir to the throne. Four of the planned seven books have been released. The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword, two of three novellas set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, were adapted as comics by Dabel Brothers Productions.

The HBO series takes its name from the first novel, A Game of Thrones. The cast includes Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey.


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